Did Tony Perkins — the Family Research Council president, and not the HIV guy — get disinvited from an Air Force prayer luncheon because he hates himself some gay soldiers? And if he did, should he be all that upset about it?
The “long-standing” invitation called for Perkins, a former Marine, to drop by the Andrews Air Force Base to speak to airmen and women about their faith or something, all while everyone enjoyed a fine spread of bagels and lox. But now that Perkins’ views on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell conflict with the president and the Pentagon, he’s been nixed from the schedule.
“The Joint Base Andrews Chaplain’s Office sponsors a voluntary, annual prayer luncheon, focusing this year on deployed personnel, families and prayer,” the base says in a statement. “The Chaplain’s Office retracted Mr. Perkins’ invitation after his recent public comments made many who planned to attend the event uncomfortable. “This was a local decision made by the Chaplain’s Office who wanted the luncheon to be inclusive for the entire base community. The Chaplain’s Office respects and defends Mr. Perkins right to express his opinions, and regrets any inconvenience to him. We thank and respect him for his prior military service.”
Well, there you have it: The Air Force got rid of Perkins because he supports DADT, and the Pentagon don’t.
Naturally, it’s not sitting well with Perkins, who hates when anyone gets in his way of spewing anti-gay hatred. “I am disappointed that I’ve been denied the opportunity to speak to members of the military, in a non-political way, solely because I exercised my free speech rights in a different forum,” he says. “It’s ironic that this blacklisting should occur because I called for the retention and enforcement of a valid federal statute.”
Uh oh. Looks like we’ve got a First Amendment issue on our hands!
If there’s one thing we love more than Kellan Lutz’s Calvin Klein underwear campaign, it’s the First Amendment. We love the right to talk shit out of our asses if we feel so inclined! So at first, we’re actually siding with Perkins here. His religious beliefs, public or private, shouldn’t dictate whether he gets a chance to address Air Force personnel. It didn’t stop Rick Warren from addressing all of America, did it?
“Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is being replaced with If You Don’t Agree, Don’t Speak,” Perkins says, in the awesomest soundbite evs.
Oh, but ya know what? The military is not civilian life! It is not a place where everyone gets an equal vote! It is not a place where personal freedoms are valued above unit cohesion! That’s something defenders of DADT keep repeating in our ears and down our throats as a reason why, when gay soldiers voluntarily enlist, they are signing up to keep quiet about their sexuality. Even the Supreme Court agrees; military life is not the same as civilian life, and there are different rules to play by.
And it’s the reason Perkins should tuck his tail between his legs and stay home.
We’d love to defend your First Amendment rights, buddy, but unfortunately when it comes to America’s armed services, there’s just no place for them. You’re a former Marine. Don’t you know that?